Georgia Bird Blast Pt 1 of 2

It has been a whirlwind for us since we headed out on our trip to Lake Tahoe last Thursday.  I think we pretty  much hit every weather condition we possibly could have starting out with Midwest heat and nonstop rains on our way to the airport.  Landed in Reno for a cold shot to the system as it was down in the high 30’s low 40’s which gave way to low 30’s, rain, sleet and golf ball sized snowflakes for our stay at Lake Tahoe.  Reversed those weather patterns  on our return back to the broke state of Illinois which put the weather cherry on top with today’s tornado warnings.  Fortunately, it was a small bit of tribulation that was quickly replaced with jubilation as the targets of my trip are safely in the tin!  Oh, and my nephew, Ron’s son, Matt successfully tied the knot with his wonderful bride Anna.  Before I get to the Tahoe prizes, I need to finish up the Georgia Trip back in May 2015 that has been consuming the blog output as of late. Being through with the series shots, thought I would go ahead and just give a blast of other birds that caught my eye while out on the hunt.

Georgia Birds, May 2015

Will be light on the commentary for this collection and let you simply enjoy a variety of shots.  Think I mentioned this in a previous post, but the Skidaway Island State Park employed this Great Egret as their “Walmart Greeter”.  As we pulled up to the visitor center, Wally here came right up to the driver’s door, looked around the inside of the RV, looked me over a couple of times and took a few steps back to let us proceed.  Grabbed The Beast and did my best to get a shot – so close I had to pull all the way back and still barely got the  head in.

Hit the jump to see a variety of other specimens from the Georgia birding trip!

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Summer Blossoms

Wanted to get another post out as I’ll be hunting for a White-Headed Woodpecker over the extended weekend.  Will likely have difficulties getting to new posts during that time being deep in unexplored wilderness fending off Cougar attacks, dodging Viper strikes, wrestling Bears and befriending wild Wolves to survive long cold bitter nights.  Well, for at least part of the trip, there’s a wedding event involved so I’ll have to clean up to at least attend that ceremony … but then back into hiking boots with The Beast to seek out the prize.

As we’ll back in snow conditions for this hunt, thought it would be appropriate to feature creatures that give tribute to the white fluffy stuff.

Great Egrets found at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Savannah Georgia May 2015

It is awfully hard to take a birding trip (short or long) where you do not have the opportunity to come upon an Egret or a Heron.  If you happen to be a wildlife photographer, I will bet the farm that you have tins full of these birds.  Also guessing those primarily came from your early birding years as they are the PERFECT photography subject.  When these birds are hunting it will make you wonder if they make Ritalin for Sloths. Need to learn how to use an expensive camera, desire to understand the exposure triangle (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture), maybe want to practice breathing techniques to stable your long glass – either way, these shore waders are the go to subject.

What you do not often get a chance to get in the tin are Egret/Heron offspring.

Great Egrets found at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Savannah Georgia May 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more shots and try your hand at an ID.

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Sky Commander

Well, here I sit with a completely drained body trying to speculate just how bad it is going to be tomorrow when the adrenaline drains out.  Don’t feel sorry, I willingly chose to test myself once again on a nasty half marathon trail run.  I wasn’t expecting the heat to come in so fast especially after heavy rains the last two days and quite frankly most of this month!  I’ll leave the details for a post on the mothership blog, but today’s course was a wicked combination of multiple water crossing (one was a spillway up over the calves), rocks, roots and a nasty collection of hills that beat me down like an after school encounter with the local bully.  As soon as you dived into the valleys you were suffocated by Mr. Heatmiser while you tried your best to make sure your shoes came out of the ankle deep mud.  Didn’t help I smacked the ground at mile 11 badly bruising my ankle and leaving me wondering if my ribs were still attached – gotta pick up those feet Bri regardless of how tired you are!  The good news is there’s new hardware on my running shelf for my efforts so as they say … worth it hehehe.

Going with a short one tonight so I can get a good amount of foam rolling in before crawling (literally) into bed.

White Ibis found at Harris Neck NWR outside Savannah Georgia May 2015

Hit the jump to see a couple more shots of the Ibis.

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Two-Faced

With the upcoming half marathon trail run scheduled for this Saturday, I had to get the first two races of the 2019 season out of the queue before recollection bits started leaking out on the trail- my mind tends to be strained on these difficult runs and wanted to make sure I got the posts out while I still could remember them .  With some of the running posts out of the way, I can direct my attention back to our feathered friends.

Northern Mockingbird found on Georgia Birding Trip May 2015

Pretty sure the Georgia queue is just about popped at least from a full series perspective.  Will probably have a few catch all posts to officially close out the captures during that productive trip to the Georgia swamps back in May 2015.  This set happened to catch my eye while in the digital darkroom.  There is something about a Northern Mockingbird that can be downright scary.  Reminds me of the Seinfeld “Two-Face” episode.  One angle they look somewhat innocent, cute if you will.  Change the angle of the glass a bit or tilt the head a bit and next thing you know you are running for the darkroom exit.

Northern Mockingbird found on Georgia Birding Trip May 2015

Hit the jump to be Mocked more.

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A Test Worthy of the Gods

Probably wasn’t a stretch to guess the topic of tonight’s post based on the foreshadowing in the previous one.  The Allerton Trail Race Weekend was a double event.  The previous work went into detail on the first of those two events, the Trail-Glo 5K.  I covered a lot of ground in that initial recollection knowing I would be able to skip over those details in the second race’s recollection.  So, let’s just jump right into it.

Allerton Park Trail Half Marathon April 13, 2019

The first race is really just a fun run – a quick warm up if you will before the big race the second day.  There are two race options to select from, the 10K version and the uber manly (I may be biased) Half Marathon.  I really shouldn’t be condescending on the shorter distance – everyone is a winner that makes it through any race distance, toeing the line is a victory in itself.  Note, like the 5K, they added the extra logs for those that made additional contributions to Make A Wish Foundation.

Allerton Park Trail Half Marathon April 13, 2019

Hit the jump to see some of Linda’s work from behind the camera and learn how the race went.

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Moon Singer

So there are some posts that whip out pretty quickly.  Image processing goes fast, getting them uploaded to Smug an added to the post goes seamless and the words flow through the fingers effortlessly. Then there are the posts that seem to take FOREVER.  This posts happens to be one of the ladder thanks to a multitude of image sources ranging from my cell phone, the real camera and Facebook (thanks to a race photographer).  For a while there, didn’t think I was ever going to get this post completed.  Not wanting to go past 4 races behind, decided it was time to hunker down and do this…so here we go.

Allerton Park Trail-Glo 5K April 12, 2019

Now, if you had the opportunity to attend the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana of course) or simply like strange parks in the heart of Illinois, then you probably recognized the statue above.  If not, then I should mention that is the Sun Singer statue located at Allerton Park.  If you enjoy odd and eclectic this is the place for you.  You can see some of the artwork that is scattered throughout the1,517 acre park from my previous posts (link here and here).   Oddly enough, neither of those posts featured the Sun Singer which is definitely the signature piece when you think of Allerton.   The picture doesn’t relay the true size of the Greek sun god Apollo which is a 16′ statue sitting on a three tier pedestal (clipped out in my shot).  More on that later, because right now we have to get to the meat of the feature.

Allerton Park Trail-Glo 5K April 12, 2019

Hit the jump to read and see some recollections from the race!

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Sitting in Georgia, Looking at Carolina

Had a great training run today which translates directly to being completely exhausted.  There was finally a break in the rain for a couple of days allowing me to get some quality time in on the trails.  They were surprisingly dry considering the amount of water that has poured out of the skies as of late.  That didn’t mean there wasn’t any swamps to navigate in the valleys and the one stream crossing required some precise leaps to stray rocks struggling to keep their heads above the onrush, but at least the hills were dry enough to get traction.  Clearly need to get a steady barrage of heat conditioning – felt the warmer temps about halfway through the 11 miles.  Figured I’d be productive while the legs calm down prior to tackling the mowing (rain on its way back to start the week off).

Carolina Wren found at Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia, May 2015

Hit the jump to see and read a bit more about this Chatty Cathy of the birding world.

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Data Guarded

Synology Health

Apparently there is a timing issue with the first  post of this month.  On the Wildlife version of this blog, the publish date went as intended on the first of day of the month, where here at the mothership, the post data ended up being late the day before the first.  This wouldn’t be a big issue, but I have a self-imposed monthly quota which is now good on one blog and bad on the other – sigh.  No worries, it has been a long time since I published a product review – especially one that is positive!  Product reviews also require limited image processing besides working up an original header image (speaking of which, kind of spiffy looking for about 6 minutes’ worth of work if I do say so myself).  How about we get to the review.

Hit the jump to read about my experiences with the Synology NAS units.

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Little Armored Ones

Greetings everyone!  I am officially on the road again  as the weekend has brought with it the second race of the season.  Technically I should refer to as the 3rd and 4th race of the season as this is again another double event like the one two weeks ago on the trails at Allerton State Park.  This time I’ve left the trail shoes at home and will be lacing on the road shoes.  It all kicks off at 7:30 tonight with an easy 5K followed by a half marathon in the morning.  Being that it is on campus of my Alma Mater (University of Illinois) it comes with a bit of nostalgia, however it RAINS EVERY STINKING YEAR for this race.  Then to throw on insult it is usually windy – keeping with tradition, the forecast has revealed that it will be ummm raining with wait for it … wait for it … 20-30 mph winds.  This race is cursed.  I told Linda this may be my last year for this and find a trail run somewhere instead.  At least the trees would cut the wind down (running in mud can be a lot of fun if you oink from time to time).  Being as it takes 2 hrs to get to the venue, figured I’d get some blogging in.

Armadillo found on Georgia Birding Trip May 2015

The anti-birding lobby that has been getting a bit irate lately should be pleased as I can most assuredly tell you the creature before you is NOT a bird.  Nope, no siree.  Although, I would contend that if were to jump and get those ears moving fast enough it might be able to hover there for a bit.  Wait, this just in – the army of lawyers employed by Intrigued has informed me that I must refer to their ability to hover as “speculation only” and should be treated by skepticism by anyone stupid enough to use this site for any type of official reference – can’t wait to see what happens when I start talking about their shells being bulletproof.

Armadillo found on Georgia Birding Trip May 2015

Hit the jump to learn a bit more about these intriguing looking beasts.

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The Easter Egg of the Birding World

For those that celebrate the holiday – Happy Easter everyone!  When Linda wasn’t looking I stole her “Honey Do” bell and cut the clapper out of it.  She was starting to abuse it (ha) and now that she is on the mend, my nurturing duties are officially over.  I did cap it off with a well received pancake dinner in the shape of a bunny before the time officially ran out, so don’t feel bad for her.  She’s still badly bruised at the insertion points, but good enough to move around and she even drove to a local store tonight for some badly needed supplies – good to go although I’ll be pressed into service again and this time for at least 3 months once the valve surgery is done.  That one is going to hurt (me, not her hehehe).  With the Easter holiday upon us, thought I would feature Mother Nature’s version of the Easter Egg.

Painted Bunting found at Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah GA, May 2015

Now how is that for a colorful bird?  Linda is very particular about what birds she is willing to take pictures of. If it isn’t pretty and colorful she doesn’t even bother bringing her camera out.  Blackbirds, Robins, dull garbed Warblers etc. do not merit the infinitesimal pressure required to push that shutter button down and clearly not wasting precious digital bits reserved primarily for waterfalls and landscape pictures.  I call it elitism, which generally catches her ire.  In this particular case she had no issue with snapping away and that’s clearly understandable.  This Bunting is top two in my book across the entire birding world.

Painted Bunting found at Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah GA, May 2015

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